PLO rift causes diplomatic flurry
Damascus, Syria — Algerian, Saudi Arabian, and Romanian leaders worked quietly to end a rebellion in the Palestine Liberation Organization against the leadership of Yasser Arafat, PLO officials said.
Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid left Damascus Monday after talks with the Syrian government. He tried to ease tensions within Mr. Arafat's own Al-Fatah group - the largest PLO guerrilla faction, a PLO official said. Romania and Saudi Arabia also sent delegations here to try to head off a complete disintegration of the PLO.
Mr. Arafat, in New Delhi Tuesday as part of a diplomatic offensive to gain support from friendly states, told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, ''The situation is under control.'' Reports of dissension, he said, were ''greatly exaggerated.''
The PLO leader arrived in New Delhi from Jiddah, where he held talks with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia - a country which supports Fatah. His trips appear designed to win support for his policy against dissidents in the movement who want the PLO to reject peaceful settlements and continue its armed struggle against Israel. An Arab summit is expected to be held soon to discuss the Middle East situation, sources close to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah said.
Meanwhile, in Moscow, Fatah's No. 2 man met with Soviet officials. Salah Khalaf, better known as Abu Iyad, said Soviet leader Yuri Andropov had sent two messages to Mr. Arafat. He said Mr. Andropov's messages ''expressed Soviet support for the PLO under the leadership of Yasser Arafat.''